Londoners to see ‘Wi-Fi Cabs’
London’s second-largest cab firm has announced plans to introduce free Wi-Fi technology into each of its 300 vehicles, becoming the latest in a series of organisations offering the service in the Capital.
Eco-friendly cab-company ‘Greentomatocars’ has become the latest in a series of companies and public services to offer its customers free Wi-Fi in London. With the Olympics fast looming, the pressure is on to offer the public the ability to view the events, and with download speeds of up to 7mbps, Greentomatocars has certainly capitalised on a potential cash-cow (not to mention improving their public image).
London, already named ‘Wi-Fi Capital of the World’ in 2008, looks set to keep a firm hold of the title. Indeed, Mayor Johnson pledged to increase wireless access across the city, as part of the city’s improvement program in the run-up to the Olympic Games. True-to-his-word, over 40 London Underground stations offer the connection (with a view to expanding the number to 120, by the end of the month). London’s 8000-strong fleet of buses is also set to offer the service. The founder of Greentomatocars commented: “You don’t have to work in the travel industry to see the importance of connectivity…”
But what does this mean for London as a whole? We seem to be moving from ‘Wi-Fi hotspots’ and paid public internet use, through to free, blanket-coverage for the entirety of the Capital. For the commuter, this is very likely an advantageous turnout: the use of smart-phones and tablet computing has increased exponentially in the past couple of years, and a large division of society has some kind of mobile access to the web. Social media has become increasingly integrated to our culture, and the demand for constant access is heavy. As mentioned above: many public transport services either offer, or have plans to offer similar schemes. This could mean a great shift in the transport community, with private companies being forced to ‘adapt or die’, to maintain customer satisfaction. Also with workers given internet on public transportation, perhaps this could prompt changes in the business community: with working-hours ‘extended’, as businessmen and women are able to check work schedules and send emails during the morning commute.
Whether or not this is hinting at the next step in societal development, or simply another fad, brought-on by Boris Johnson remains to be seen, and it will certainly be another year or so before the plans to ‘upgrade’ London are 100% complete. Whatever the future holds, we can be certain of one thing: awkward conversation with cab drivers after a night-out could become a thing of the past!
With sites like www.searchengineoptimisationcompany.co reporting on similar developments, such as WiFi becoming available in London Underground stations during the London 2012 Olympics, it seems that finding somewhere you cannot connect to wireless internet in the capital may soon be harder than finding somewhere you can.
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